Move over Slovakia

Think local, not global: WorldFest brings a Texas vibe

Think local, not global: WorldFest brings a Texas vibe

Films from as far away as Slovakia, Singapore and Sri Lanka will be unspooled during the 2010 edition of the WorldFest/Houston International Film Festival. But this year’s fest — which runs Friday through April 18 at the AMC Studio 30 — also includes a fair share of American-made product, including five documentaries with Texas ties:

For the Sake of the Song: The Story of Anderson Fair  - A labor-of-love tribute to Anderson Fair, Houston’s improbably enduring venue for folk and acoustic musicians. Bruce Bryant’s heartfelt film includes interviews with, and performances by, Lyle Lovett, Nanci Griffith, Robert Earl Keen and other luminaries who launched their careers at the venerable Montrose neighborhood café. (Screening: 9 p.m. Saturday)
A Bridge Life: Finding Our Way Home – Documentarian Joshua Grossberg follows 10 New Orleans residents who, after being displaced by Hurricane Katrina, find temporary shelter at the Houston Astrodome, then struggle to rebuild their lives in Florida with the help of a modern-day Good Samaritan. (Screening: 5 p.m. Sunday)
Truth Be Tolled – A home-schooling mother turned anti-toll activist launches a grassroots campaign to halt what she sees as a proliferation of Texas toll roads in William H. Molina’s advocacy documentary. (Screening: 5 p.m. Tuesday)
The Burning Desire – Hard to believe it’s already been more than a decade since the catastrophic collapse of the traditional Aggie bonfire that, until 1999, had famously celebrated the annual football rivalry between Texas A&M and University of Texas. This officially sanctioned 12th Man Productions documentary vividly recalls the tragedy and its aftermath. (Screening: 7 p.m. Tuesday)
American: The Bill Hicks Story – Filmmakers Matt Harlock and Paul Thomas scrutinize the done-too-soon life and career of the Georgia-born, Houston-raised satirist/stand-up comic who first made his mark at H-Town’s Comedy Workshop. (Screening: 5 p.m. Wednesday)

 Other promising possibilities in the WorldFest lineup include:

La Mission – Benjamin Bratt stars in this indie drama, set in San Francisco’s Mission District, as a macho middle-aged ex-con who’s greatly shocked – and initially unaccepting – when he learns his college-bound son (Jeremy Ray Valdez) is gay. (Screening: 7 p.m. Sunday and Tuesday)
The Red Baron – Nikolai Müllerschoen’s lavish period drama, a recent Oscar nominee in the Best Foreign Language Film category, examines the life and legend of Manfred von Richthofen (Matthias Schweighofer), the celebrated World War I fighter pilot who — despite what you may have read in the funny pages — never engaged in a dogfight with a beagle. (Screening: 5 p.m. Monday)
To Whom It May Concern: Ka Shen’s Journey – In the 1960s, Hong Kong native Nancy Kwan discovered that Hollywood stardom for an Asian actress could be a profoundly mixed blessing — and, worse, a short-lived phenomenon. Documentarian Brian Jamieson tells the story of Kwan’s career (highlighting her lead roles in The World of Suzie Wong and Flower Drum Song) and legacy. (Screening: 7 p.m. Monday)

WorldFest 2010 kicks off Friday with a showcase screening of The Joneses, an offbeat comedy starring David Duchovny and Demi Moore, and concludes April 18 with a special retrospective screening of Easy Rider as a tribute to the ailing Dennis Hopper. All screenings will be at the AMC Studio 30

News_Anderson Fair_For_The_Sake_Of_The_Song_Poster
"Anderson Fair: For the Sake of the Song" Courtesy of Ghost Ranch Films
News_Worldfest_American_The Bill Hicks Story
"American: The Bill Hicks Story"
News_Worldfest_The Burning Desire
"The Burning Desire"